Introducing the Strategies of Resistance Data Project

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Cunningham, Kathleen Gallagher; Marianne Dahl & Anne Frugé (2020) Introducing the Strategies of Resistance Data Project, Journal of Peace Research 57(3): 482–491.

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​This article introduces the Strategies of Resistance Data Project (SRDP), a global dataset on organizational behavior in self-determination disputes. This dataset is actor-focused and spans periods of relative peace and violence in self-determination conflicts. By linking tactics to specific actors in broader campaigns for political change, we can better understand how these struggles unfold over time, and the conditions under which organizations use conventional politics, violent tactics, nonviolent tactics, or some combination of these. SRDP comprises 1,124 organizations participating in movements for greater national self-determination around the world, from 1960 to 2005. Despite the fact that few self-determination movements engage in mass nonviolent campaigns, SRDP shows that more organizations employ nonviolent tactics at some point in time (about 40%) than employ violence (about 30%). Many organizations switch among tactics or use both at the same time. This dataset will allow analysts to examine the use of different combinations of tactics and patterns of change. We compare the data with the most-used dataset on nonviolence, the NAVCO 2.0 Data Project, to demonstrate what we gain by employing an organization-level dataset on tactics. We present a set of descriptive analyses highlighting the utility of the SRDP, including an examination of tactic switching. We show that more organizations change from violence to nonviolence than the reverse – challenging the widely held assumption that organizations ‘resort’ to violence. SRDP allows scholars to examine organizational choices about tactics, and trends in these tactics, with much greater nuance.

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